The Achievements and Shortcomings of the United Nations



I am very conscious that the kind of assessment I have been asked to make must be greatly influenced by my own background and experience. My perceptions might have been very different if I had been a politician, a political scientist, a peace activist or an international civil servant. But I have been none of these. My experience for 38 years was as a New Zealand public servant who for much of his working life was required to deal with UN affairs in one capacity or another, whether in Wellington or in New York. I have now been long enough away from the diplomatic coal face, I hope, to have broadened my perceptions and positioned myself to be able to make a more detached, a more balanced, appraisal of the UN’s record of achievements and shortcomings than might have been the case a decade ago. But then, I suppose we all think like that.


Security Council Nuclear Weapon International Labour Organisation Permanent Member Special Rapporteur 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

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